Aggrieving – Definition & Meaning

Aggrieving is a term that is not commonly used in everyday language, but it is still an important word to know. It is often used in legal contexts, and it has a specific meaning that is different from other similar words. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of aggrieving, its origin, synonyms, antonyms, and associations.


Aggrieving is a verb that means to cause someone to feel grief or distress. It can also mean to cause harm or injury to someone, either physically or emotionally. In legal contexts, aggrieving is used to describe a situation where someone has been wronged or harmed, and they are seeking redress or compensation.


The word aggrieving comes from the Latin word aggrievare, which means to oppress or afflict. It has been used in English since the 15th century, and it has always had a negative connotation.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of aggrieving is fairly consistent across different dictionaries. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “to cause grief or distress to; to injure or harm.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “to give pain or trouble to; distress.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “to make someone feel very sad or upset.”


Aggrieving is often associated with legal contexts, such as when someone is seeking compensation for harm or injury. It is also associated with emotional distress, such as when someone is grieving the loss of a loved one or experiencing other forms of trauma.


Some synonyms of aggrieving include:

  • Distressing.
  • Troubling.
  • Upsetting.
  • Harassing.
  • Persecuting.
  • Oppressing.


Some antonyms of aggrieving include:

  • Comforting.
  • Soothing.
  • Reassuring.
  • Calming.
  • Relieving.

The same root words

Aggrieving is derived from the Latin word aggrievare, which also gives us the words grievance and aggrieved. These words all have to do with feeling wronged or harmed in some way.

Example Sentences

Here are some example sentences that use the word aggrieving:

  • The company was sued for aggrieving its employees by failing to provide a safe working environment.
  • The loss of her mother was aggrieving her deeply.
  • The constant harassment from her ex-boyfriend was aggrieving her to the point of seeking a restraining order.
  • The judge found that the defendant had aggrieved the plaintiff and ordered them to pay damages.
  • The news of the tragedy was aggrieving the entire community.
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